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RATINGS
Food
Service
Value
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About
The first U.S. Caffè from an award winning cast of Gelato artisans and coffee artisans Stefano Biasini & Michele Morelli. Come early mornings for espresso & gelato made in house. Come back for lunch to explore an extensive food and wine menu in Rittenhouse Square.
Special Diets
Vegetarian Friendly, Vegan Options, Gluten Free Options
Meals
Lunch, Dinner, Brunch
CUISINES
Italian, Cafe, Tuscan, Romana, Lazio, Central-Italian
FEATURES
Takeout, Reservations, Seating, Highchairs Available, Serves Alcohol, Full Bar, Accepts American Express, Accepts Mastercard, Accepts Visa, Free Wifi, Accepts Discover, Wheelchair Accessible, Accepts Credit Cards, Table Service
Reviews (756)
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116
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11
5
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LanguageEnglish
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Traveller rating
456
116
39
11
5
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All reviews gelato pasta fritto misto monkfish ice cream bread tapas shrimp crab cakes italian cafe chestnut street wine list by the glass olive oil the real deal during restaurant week center city
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Reviewed 2 days ago via mobile

Awesome and Authentic Italian! Loved visiting this cafe. We enjoyed some fantastically brewed Italian coffee and then ordered bruschetta and a cheese plate for lunch. I especially enjoyed being able to converse with the staff in Italian. The cafe also sells wine by the bottle...and lots of imported items from various regions of Italy. If you want an authentic Italian experience in downtown Philadelphia this is the place!More

Date of visit: April 2021
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Reviewed 12 November 2020

We checked into our hotel and had to find a place for dinner. Concierge called and found us this restaurant. Being a frequent Italian food diner, I wasn't expecting much. Turned out to be quite alright. Certainly above average. Wine list was decent. Nothing special...about the service we got (not warm), but overall an OK experience.More

Date of visit: November 2020
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 20 September 2020 via mobile

Weather was perfect to have dinner outside. The four courses were delicious. The meatball appetizer was excellent! Everyone loved their entree! The gelato was incredible! Worth the visit

Date of visit: September 2020
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 20 September 2020

The City Center's Chestnut Street, like the downtown areas of many other cities, experiences constant change and re-invention.  One of the most welcomed additions is Gran Caffe L'Aquila, a stunning cafe with delicious pastries, coffee and flawless customer service. What lured us in were the beautiful...holiday decorations outside; what held our attentions and kept us returning was the exquisite attention to details, ranging from the interior to the taste and presentation of the food, to the superior coffee and most importantly, the service. We ordered the iced vanilla cappuccino, a beverage so delicate it was like drinking silk; for dessert, the panna cotta infused with lavender and topped with fresh berries.  The couple next to us, clearly over the moon with their pasta, looked over, admired our contentment and ordered the panna cotta for their dessert, too.More

Date of visit: December 2019
Helpful?1  
Reviewed 10 June 2020

To begin, we shared the Cicchetti, a venetian tapas sampler, from the antipasti course. A small dull plate of rubbery things. It came with bread and garlic and olive oil for dipping. The bread and oil were the highlight of the dish. A small plate...was priced at $15. Too many leaves, not enough ‘tapas’. Next time we’ll share the Pera salad, which looked good. After this underwhelming start, everything got better fast. Zuppa Di Pesce: clams, mussels, calamary, salmon, and monkfish in a hefty tomato broth over pasta. Good ingredients and cooked perfectly. My companion liked the Vitello Saltimbocca. Both plates were cleared. We didn’t leave anything. Our deserts: tiramisu, and brioche bread pudding with a side of their famous gelato, were excellent as was the coffee. There’s a long beer, wine, and cocktail list. We were pleased with a draft IPA and a fresh strawberry prosecco. Service was fine.More

Date of visit: March 2020
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Reviewed 22 April 2020

While strolling the streets of Center City, I was truly pleased that I found this friendly, authentic Italian cafe, right in the heart of Rittenhouse district. I was welcomed with a mouthwatering made-in-house gelato case and friendly staff. You don't have to travel to Rome...in order to get the best gelato in the world- LITERALLY. The winner of the World Cup of Gelato " Stefano Biasini " is the chef-owner! So I'm guessing that Philadelphia will never get enough of gelato ever again. Gran Caffe L'Aquila is a sweet Italian bi-level restaurant/ cafe and bar with a sophisticated atmosphere, serving authentic Italian dishes in Philadelphia. Upstairs, has a sit-down restaurant, a beautiful wine bar, a gelato, and a coffee roasting shop. The romantic table on the balcony is waiting for the future Romeo to take me on a date. My gnocchi was made with happiness. Very rich, fluffy, and delicious. There were handcrafted ricotta and potato gnocchi with Taleggio cream topped with wild mushrooms and shaved Parmigiano was so rich and absolutely delicious! A WOW factor pasta indeed! I made an excellent choice of dessert, I'm always a winner when it comes to sweets. A subtle lavender panna cotta topped with strawberries was the perfect ending to my meal. I enjoyed it and at its best, with a freshly brewed cup of cappuccino. If you appreciate a good coffee, you don't have to look far!More

Date of visit: December 2019
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Reviewed 10 March 2020

super delish gelato so much to choose from. can't wait to go back next year. they had seating upstairs also with a bar and also a bar on the main level

Date of visit: March 2020
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Reviewed 29 February 2020 via mobile

What a hidden gem in philly. Have traveled all around the world and this is one of if not the best Italian restaurant. Amazing food, service and great ambience. Highly recommend for lunch or dinner...and buy some Italian coffee beans to go!

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?3  
Reviewed 16 February 2020 via mobile

Got off to a bad start. Had a reservation. Showed up on time only to see hostess escort people without reservation first. Reserved for dining room but got put in upstairs cafe area. The place is a cafe not a restaurant. It is okay for...a sandwich and gelato but I was looking forward to an ice birthday dinner with attentive service. The service was horrid. Person kept disappearing only to confront us to order while we were still looking at menu. For was okay. Gelato excellent but the rest just okay.More

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?2  
Reviewed 8 February 2020 via mobile

Stumbled across this place while walking through Philly on a weekend getaway. Peaked in... got lucky with bar space. BOY, were we thrilled! Dinner was amazing, great vibe, and excellent service. Planning on coming back on Sunday before we leave to head back to Florida....Thank you for a wonderful night!More

Date of visit: February 2020
Helpful?
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Questions & Answers
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Adventure1227700
19 October 2019|
AnswerShow all 13 answers
Response from JeffTraveler2000 | Reviewed this property |
Yes and I recommend it. They have it on their website and they will also call you the day before and day of to confirm.
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325eileenn
18 November 2017|
AnswerShow all 13 answers
Response from BESegal | Reviewed this property |
The restaurant is on the 1700 block of Chestnut St. There is meter parking all around the restaurant on Chestnut Street, 16th, 17th, and 18th street. There are parking garages nearby too. There are several on Samson Street... More
1
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awheaton1982
27 May 2017|
AnswerShow all 10 answers
Response from bk-mom | Reviewed this property |
Don't know- they have an upstairs which may be big enough. We only ate downstairs.
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